Around 330 participants attended the event, taking tours of the Diligwa Village, Cherokee National Museum and Adam’s Corner Rural Village. Participants also played ancient Cherokee games such as stickball, marbles and chunkey; used blowguns and bow and arrows; and made small pinch pots, cornhusk dolls and mini stickball sticks for Make and Take projects.
The participants were divided into 11 groups, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. took turns rotating to different stations set up across the CHC grounds. Despite the heat, officials deemed the event successful.
“This is from our summer (employment) youth program. It’s our work program. They work for eight weeks, and we just incorporate this as part of it,” Jeff Vance, Career Services Director of Employment, said.
The Summer Youth Cultural Day is the first for the program. Career Services has hosted a Career Day for the past 10 years but opted for a cultural day this year.
Vance said many program participants were not raised traditionally or have not been exposed much to “Cherokee life.”
“It’s something I think we’re going to continue to build on. It’s a part of the program, and it’s a part of the Cherokee Nation. As far as our administration, our council, it’s one of the most important programs at Cherokee Nation,” Vance said.
The SYEP has been in operation for several decades and allows participants, ages 16 to 24, employment opportunities during the summer as a way to earn extra money and gain skills in a field or career in which they might be interested.
This year, more than 720 participants took part in the program, and Isaacs said it was the biggest group the program has ever had.
Jonathan Crittenden, Career Services Day Training coordinator, said the feedback for the day’s event was “good” and that all participants were interactive and “intrigued” with the activities.
Career Services begins taking applications for the SYEP in the spring and places participants, who meet certain criteria, into jobs all over the CN jurisdiction for eight weeks during the summer.
“It’s a great program. I think it’s one of the best ones that we have in Career Services because we are about, of course, development. But to work with our youth and help this way, it’s a really good thing,” Isaacs said.
ᎠᏭᏂᏴᏍᏗ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ – ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᏗᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᎸᎡᎸ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎪᎦ ᎨᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏓᏅᏍᏔᏅ ᎢᎦ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ ᎾᎿ ᎪᎦ ᎬᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎾᎿ ᎫᏰᏉᏂ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏌᏊᎯᏁ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎾᏓᎴᏅ ᎠᏰᏟ.
ᏯᏛᎾ ᏦᎢᏧᏈ ᏦᏍᎪᎯ ᏯᏂ ᎤᎾᏖᎳᏛ ᎤᏁᏙᎸ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏍᏆᎵᏍᎬᎢ, ᎠᏂᎶᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎵᏆ ᎤᏍᏓ ᎦᏚᎲᎢ, ᏣᎳᎩ ᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎠᏍᏆᏂᎦᎪᏛᏅᎲᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏓᏫ ᎤᏅᏏᏗᏍᏛ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᏚᎲ. ᎠᏂᎦᏕᏃᎵᏙ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᎾᏁᎶᎲᏍᎪ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏗ ᏯᏛᎾ ᎠᎾᎳᏍᎦᎵᏍᎬ, ᏗᎦᏓᏲᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ chunkey; ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᏚᏇᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎦᎵᏣᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎦᏟᏓ; ᎠᎴ ᏚᏃᏢᏅ ᏧᏍᏗ ᎦᏓᎫᎫ, ᏎᎷ ᎤᏄᎶᏔᏅ ᏗᎪᏢᏔᏅ ᏗᏁᎶᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏍᏗ ᏗᎳᏍᎦᎸᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏱᎪᏢᏅ ᎠᏫᏛᏓ.
ᎯᎠ ᏗᎾᏁᎶᎲᏍᎩᎨᎦᏗᎦᎴᏴ ᏌᏚ ᎢᏧᎾᏓᏡᎬ ᏂᏚᏅᏁᎸ, ᎠᎴ ᏂᏛᏁᎵᏍᎩ ᏐᏁᎳ ᏌᎾᎴ ᎾᎿ ᏅᎩ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᏒᎯᏱᏯ. ᏓᎾᏓᏁᏟᏴᏎᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏄᏓᎴ ᏧᏃᏢᏒ ᏩᏂᎷᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎦᎾᏗᏫᏍᏗ CHC ᎦᏙᎢ.
ᏁᎳᎩ ᏄᏗᏢᎬᎢ, ᏗᎾᏓᏘᏂᏙ Ꮭ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏯᏁᎵᏍᎦ ᏄᏗᏝᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏓᎾᏁᎶᎲᏍᎬ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᎩ.
“ᎯᎢᎾ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎪᎦ (ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ) ᎨᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎣᎩᎭ ᎣᎦᏙᏢᎯ. ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎰ ᏧᏁᎳ ᎢᏳᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎣᏣᏠᏯᏍᏗᏍᎪᎢ,” ᎢᎬᏩᎾᏛᏗ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ ᏗᏎᎮᎯ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎯᎠ Jeff Vance ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎪᎦ ᎨᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᏗᎩᎶᏒ ᎢᎦᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎢᎪᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏃᏪᎸᎢ. ᎢᎬᏩᎾᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎢᎦ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎤᏙᏢᎯ. ᎢᎬᏩᎾᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏍᏆᎵᏗᏍᎪ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏯᎾᏛᏁᎯ ᎢᎪᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏍᎪᎯ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎾᎪᎯᎸ ᎾᏍᏊ ᏂᏧᎾᏛᏁᎸᏍᏔᏅ ᎢᎪᎯ ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏓ.
Vance ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᏧᎪᏓ ᏓᏙᏢᏍᎪ ᎬᏩᎾᏖᎳᏗᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏧᎾᏛᏒ ᏂᎦᏒᎾ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᎪᎲ ᏂᎦᏒᎾ ᎤᎪᏛ “ᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᎳᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ.”
“ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏉᎯᏳ ᎦᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᏂᎦᏯᎢᏎᏍᏗ ᏛᏛᏏ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏙᏢᎯ, ᎠᎴ ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ. ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏗᎾᏓᏘᏂᏙᎯ, ᏗᏂᎳᏫᎩᏅ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᏭᎵᏍᎨᏗᏴᎢ ᎯᎠ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Vance.
ᎾᏍᎩ SYEP ᎾᎿ ᎤᏙᏢᎯ ᎾᎿ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎪ ᎤᎾᏖᎳᏗᏍᏗ, ᎢᏧᎾᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏓᎳᏚ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏅᎩ ᎢᏍᏗ, ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎠᏜᏅᏓᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎪᎦ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎬᏩᏂᏩᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏛ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎾᏃ 720 ᎤᎾᏖᎳᏛ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ, ᎠᎴ Isaacs ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏭᏂᎪᏛᎢ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎦ ᎯᎠ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎤᏂᎷᏨᎢ.
Jonathan Crittenden, ᎢᎬᏩᎾᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎢᎦ ᎠᎾᎵᏏᎾᎲᏗᏍᎩ ᏗᏓᏘᏂᏙᎯ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏃᎮᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏄᎾᏛᏁᎸ ᎾᎯᏳ ᎢᎦ ᎠᎴ “ᎣᏍᏓ” ᎨᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎤᎾᏖᎳᏛ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᏛᏁᎰ ᎠᎴ “ᎤᏍᏆᏂᎪᏓ ᎤᏂᏱᎸᏒ” ᎾᎿ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲᎢ.
ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎠᏓᎴᏂ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏓᏂᏁᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ SYEP ᎾᎿ ᎪᎨᏯ ᏥᏓᏯᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏂᏁᏗ ᎠᏁᎳ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎤᏂᎶᏒ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎨᏥᏁᏤᎲᎢ, ᎾᎿ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᏟᎶᎥᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏂᎳ ᎢᏳᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎪᎦ ᎨᏒᎢ.
“ᎣᏍᏓ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ. ᎨᎵᎠ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏬᏌᏂᏴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏥᎪᏢ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎨᏒ ᏥᎦᏓᏡᎦ, ᏕᏙᏢᏍᎪᎢ. ᎠᏎᏃ ᏙᏤᏲᎲᏍᎪ ᎨᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏙᏥᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ ᎯᎠ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎢᎦᏃ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Isaacs.